For most business to business sales (B2B) or service firms, the greatest value they have is in their contact list. During any merger or acquisition, this is certainly one important factor in the valuation of the company. If, at acquisition, this is what is really valued, then why during the life of the business is it not seen as the greatest asset?
If you really understand where the value in your firm lies, doesn’t it make sense to do everything you can every day to ensure that those relationships grow in value?
We are judged by the company we keep. We need to choose our customers carefully. Each customer can be a source of new customers.
Just like a traditional marketing program, where we carefully choose a magazine in which to advertise based on circulation, content, price and perceived return, we should choose our customers based on how they are positioned in their market, their reputation and their vision.
We are not just acquiring a contact and payment during the sales process, we are also acquiring a sphere of influence. We all want to find relationship oriented prospects and by their very nature these people tend to run in groups or tribes.
Your customers will refer you, so make sure they are the type of people you want talking about your services. Each customer you have can be an advertisement for your business – whether you want them to be or not.
Ask yourself this:
- What is the quality of this customer?
- Are they good people?
- Do you trust them?
- Are you excited about their business model?
- Who are their customers and partners?
- And, most importantly, do they give you the creeps?
Believing in your customers, liking them and respecting them is critical to the success of your relationship. You would not be buddies with someone you don’t like and don’t respect, so why have a business relationship with those types of people? Stop chasing dollars and start finding wonderful like-minded people to grow your business with. Short term, it may mean slower initial growth, but long-term it will generate greater stability, more profitable relationships and will make marketing your business easier.
Photo Credit: beansoup_67